A while back, the company who markets the PBS show Maya & Miguel asked for volunteers on So The Fish Said. The deal was a free DVD in exchange for a review of the show. As I mentioned in my guest blog over at IzzyMom’s recently, I am fascinated with all aspects of blogging – and viral marketing is one of those aspects that totally intrigue me – so I took them up on her offer. Plus, why turn down a free DVD, right?
Overall, we both really liked it. But in general, even though they say ages 3+ on the box, I think it may be really for kids a tad older than Declan (age almost 5). More like ages 6-8. Mainly because the stories are pretty complicated, pretty fast-moving, and the kids themselves seem to be at least 2nd or 3rd grade if not older. But like I said, we definitely liked it – and here is why.
First, and foremost – the diversity. Here is a show with different kids with different backgrounds… not several white kids and the token Hispanic friend. I love that one kid even has a disability, yet they never even mention it or draw attention to it. I love how the focus is on Maya and Miguel’s Mexican culture and especially how they intertwine Spanish language skills into the show seamlessly.
I did like how the kids are goofy and fun without being syrupy – but I will admit it their misadventures sometimes border on annoying (for me at least, not so much for Declan!)… especially in the very first episode where Maya breaks a very special heirloom and after freaking out about it the whole show, finally fesses up and her Abuelita isn’t even upset, and in fact – the “punishment” is to make a new heirloom together. While, certainly, I loved the message of making a new memory together, I was a little shocked that there was no recourse after her Grandmother had been very reluctant to loan the heirloom in the first place. But, that is just Maya, I guess! She comes up with crazy ideas and her ponytail lights up (which Declan loooves, by the way) and she is off. Hijinks ensue!
Miguel is a bit more laidback and cool, or at least he thinks he is. In fact, Declan’s favorite episode was when the twin’s cousin Tito wanted to be just like Miguel and started mimicking him. My son was literally howling at the two “Miguels” traipsing around school.
There were a few episodes that scared Declan, like the one where the kids made up a story for Miguel to submit to a contest that involved superheroes battling it out, which is partly why I feel like it’s more appropriate for slightly older kids. Or maybe my kid is just too used to watching the Wiggles, where all they do is sing and dance.
We loved the animation style, it’s bright and energetic – even though for some reason the whites of everyone’s eyes are off center a lot, making them look slightly crazy sometimes.
But the real key is that the show is fun and always comes back to a positive message. A definite thumbs up. Check these kids out.